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the male of the deer, antelope, rabbit, hare, sheep, or goat.
the male of certain other animals, as the shad.
an impetuous, dashing, or spirited man or youth.
Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to an American Indian male or a black male.
bucks, casual oxford shoes made of buckskin, often in white or a neutral color.
Military. of the lowest of several ranks involving the same principal designation, hence subject to promotion within the rank:
buck private; buck sergeant.
(of a saddle or pack animal) to leap with arched back and come down with head low and forelegs stiff, in order to dislodge a rider or pack.
Informal. to resist or oppose obstinately; object strongly:
The mayor bucked at the school board’s suggestion.
(of a vehicle, motor, or the like) to operate unevenly; move by jerks and bounces.
to throw or attempt to throw (a rider or pack) by bucking.
to force a way through or proceed against (an obstacle):
The plane bucked a strong headwind.
to strike with the head; butt.
to resist or oppose obstinately; object strongly to.
Football. (of a ball-carrier) to charge into (the opponent’s line).
to gamble, play, or take a risk against:
He was bucking the odds when he bought that failing business.
to press a reinforcing device against (the force of a rivet) in order to absorb vibration and increase expansion.
an act of bucking.
buck for, to strive for a promotion or some other advantage:
to buck for a raise.
buck up, to make or become more cheerful, vigorous, etc.:
She knew that with a change of scene she would soon buck up.
a sawhorse.
Gymnastics. a cylindrical, leather-covered block mounted in a horizontal position on a single vertical post set in a steel frame, for use chiefly in vaulting.
any of various heavy frames, racks, or jigs used to support materials or partially assembled items during manufacture, as in airplane assembly plants.
Also called door buck. a doorframe of wood or metal set in a partition, especially one of light masonry, to support door hinges, hardware, finish work, etc.
to split or saw (logs, felled trees, etc.).
buck in, Surveying, Optical Tooling. to set up an instrument in line with two marks.
Poker. any object in the pot that reminds the winner of some privilege or obligation when his or her turn to deal next comes.
to pass (something) along to another, especially as a means of avoiding responsibility or blame:
He bucked the letter on to the assistant vice president to answer.
pass the buck, to shift responsibility or blame to another person:
Never one to admit error, he passed the buck to his subordinates.
lye used for washing clothes.
clothes washed in lye.
to wash or bleach (clothes) in lye.
completely; stark:
buck naked.
a dollar.
Pearl (Sydenstricker)
[sahyd-n-strik-er] /ˈsaɪd nˌstrɪk ər/ (Show IPA), 1892–1973, U.S. novelist: Nobel Prize 1938.
a male given name.
Contemporary Examples

What I Saw in Haiti Buck Close January 14, 2010
Who Assassinated a U.S. General? Eli Lake August 5, 2014
Could Tylenol Cause ADHD? Kent Sepkowitz February 24, 2014
A Novelist’s Biracial Struggle John Douglas Marshall March 11, 2010
Aussie DJ’s in Tragic Suicide Prank: Full Text of Their Emotional First Interview Tom Sykes December 9, 2012

Historical Examples

The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
Way of the Lawless Max Brand
Captain Ted Louis Pendleton
Way of the Lawless Max Brand
The Draw Jerome Bixby


the male of various animals including the goat, hare, kangaroo, rabbit, and reindeer
(as modifier): a buck antelope

(South African) an antelope or deer of either sex
(US, informal) a young man
(archaic) a robust spirited young man
(archaic) a dandy; fop
the act of bucking
(intransitive) (of a horse or other animal) to jump vertically, with legs stiff and back arched
(transitive) (of a horse, etc) to throw (its rider) by bucking
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) when intr, often foll by against. to resist or oppose obstinately: to buck against change, to buck change
(transitive; usually passive) (informal) to cheer or encourage: I was very bucked at passing the exam
(US & Canadian, informal) (esp of a car) to move forward jerkily; jolt
(US & Canadian) to charge against (something) with the head down; butt
(US & Canadian, Austral, informal) a dollar
(South African, informal) a rand
a fast buck, easily gained money
bang for one’s buck, See bang1 (sense 15)
(gymnastics) a type of vaulting horse
(US & Canadian) a stand for timber during sawing Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) sawhorse
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to cut (a felled or fallen tree) into lengths
(poker) a marker in the jackpot to remind the winner of some obligation when his turn comes to deal
(informal) pass the buck, to shift blame or responsibility onto another
(informal) the buck stops here, the ultimate responsibility lies here
Pearl S(ydenstricker). 1892–1973, US novelist, noted particularly for her novel of Chinese life The Good Earth (1931): Nobel prize for literature 1938

The ‘buck’ is any inanimate object, usually knife or pencil, which is thrown into a jack pot and temporarily taken by the winner of the pot. Whenever the deal reaches the holder of the ‘buck’, a new jack pot must be made. [J.W. Keller, “Draw Poker,” 1887]

Perhaps originally especially a buck-handled knife. The figurative sense of “shift responsibility” is first recorded 1912. Buck private is recorded by 1870s, of uncertain signification.

A dollar (1850s+)
A hundred dollars, esp as a bet (1960s+ Gambling)
buck private
A Roman Catholic priest (1920s+ Hoboes)
A young male Indian; Native American brave (1800+)
young black man (1830s+)
Any young man, esp a strong and spirited one; bucko (mid-1700s+)

To resist; defy; go up against •Often in the negative: You can’t buck the system/ Life is a combination hard to buck, A proposition difficult to beat (1850s+)
To work for personal advancement; aspire eagerly; covet: I’m bucking for that dealership (1880s+)
To pass along a letter, memorandum, problem, etc, usually without taking action; pass the buck: Let’s buck this one to the Committee on Hot Potatoes (WWII armed forces)

buck for
buck stops here, the
buck up


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